Skip to main content

Featured Post

Game Of Thrones Season 8 - End Game With Sinhala Subtitles



Welcome to Marwen Movie Review

Hollow Dolly

I wish Robert Zemeckis's latest film, "Welcome to Marwen," was just Dark Helmet playing with his dolls again - not that we ever ADMITTED to seeing Dark Helmet play with dolls.  Instead, Zemeckis (Flight) and Steve Carell (Vice) team up to deliver a film that is as fractured as the psyche of its protagonist. It's a drama about addiction, trauma, and recovery. No, it's a fantasy action movie, but with fancy dolls and elaborate models! No, it's BOTH!!  But, because it's trying to do too many things, it's not really good at any of them.

Carell plays Mark Hogancamp, who creates highly detailed staged photographs of his fantasy alter-ego Capt. Hogie of the US Army Air Corps and the Women of Marwen -dolls inspired by various people in his life. The film alternates between Mark's awkward interactions with people in the real world, and the heroic - but surprisingly bland -slaughter of seemingly unkillable Nazis in his fantasy world as he creates these photos.

This artwork is Mark's method for dealing with the post-traumatic stress sustained in a life-threatening beating at the hands of five men. Unfortunately, we have no idea how or why he started this artistic endeavor; we just crash land into him already well-established in the practice taking these photos, which is leading to an art exhibition "coming up soon."  The film drips in a few background notes to set some of the stage pieces but gives little more than a light explanation that it's just a thing he does.

Mark's real world is filled with characters who have little to do but ask about his art show, encourage him to face his attackers in court, and gaze at him with mixture of concern, empathy, and sadness.  The people all around him - even those he has made a part of the "Marwen" narrative - have obviously accepted it and go about their business. In one case, it's clear that his hobby shop friend Roberta (Merritt Weaver, "Birdman") is aware of her part, but for the rest, including Carlala (Eliza Gonzalez, "Baby Driver") it's never really explored.  This feels like a missed opportunity, as the supporting characters really have little to do.

Unfortunately, this comfort/complacency does ill-service to the entrance of the new neighbor-across-the-street, Nicol (Leslie Mann, "How to Be Single").  A pseudo-manic pixie dream girl, she's co-opted into his fantasy, at first without her knowledge.  When she does learn of her role - and Mark's not at all disguised preference for her - it's unclear if she's clueless about what's unfolding, or just leading Mark on.  Because we never see how the other Women of Marwen got there, we don't know if Nicol's addition is unique, or just another replay.  Unfortunately, it plays as creepy and stalkerish, masquerading as "sweet, broken guy who just needs love."  The eventual destination of this oddly-founded relationship is both unsurprising and unsatisfying.

In the fantasy world of "Marwen," things are not much better from a characterization point of view.  The Nazis here are, yet again, garden-variety evildoers.  Capt. Hogie plays hero, delivering hammy quips while flanked by irrationally scantily-clad doll women. Mark even trots out the trope of WWII being the one "where we were the good guys."  The metaphorical line between the Nazis and Mark's real-life attackers is plainly drawn, as is that between the Women of Marwen and the various women in Mark's life who've helped him.  But in both cases, these connections are not developed; they just exist. The only one that makes you think and pay attention is the character of Deja (Diane Kruger, "The Infiltrator"), whose role I won't spoil, other than to say it is yet another ham-handed metaphor. The violence here is not particularly compelling nor all that well-staged, although I will admit I chuckled the first few times a Nazi dies and is transfixed into a doll-appropriate rigor mortis.

Much digital ink will be spilled on the tumble that "Marwen's" animation takes into the uncanny valley (comparisons WILL be made to the dead-eyed demons of Zemeckis' earlier work "The Polar Express").  But I think it worked to the film's advantage here: I bought into the visual aesthetic of the dolls, and Zemeckis' approach succeeds in making Marwen's inhabitants suitably fantastical.  Combine that with a decent linkage between the practical models and digital environments and the fantasy world of Marwen LOOKS pretty good. The one notable exception to this praise of visuals is Zemeckis' lazy and disappointing call-back to one of his most famous films.

I was disappointed that this film ended up being such a mess. The concept seemed original and I'll join the chorus of people wishing for the life raft of original content on the "Endless Ocean of Superheroes."  Steve Carell can do great dramatic work. But even a great actor will be bested by poor content.  Robert Zemeckis can make really. great. movies. This just isn't one of them.  It bears repeating: I genuinely wish this movie was just Dark Helmet playing with his dolls.  Again. I would watch that over this.

View the original article here


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular posts from this blog

Dell XPS 13 9380 (2019) Review

Dell's flagship laptop returns to us in 2019 with refreshed specs, a brand new webcam design and a cheaper model. We review the XPS 13 9380 in full.
Should I Buy The Dell XPS 13 (2019)?
The XPS 13 for 2019 ticks all the boxes. It looks great, the build quality is excellent, it’s nice and portable and has a wide range of specs to choose from.
While not a massive upgrade from last year's model, it’s had some solid refinement including getting the webcam back into the top bezel and also introduces a more affordable Core i3 edition.

iHealth Core Review

This smart scale from iHealth offers detailed body composition measurements, from BMI to visceral fat rating. Find out what we think in our iHealth Core review.
Should I Buy The iHealth Core? We like the way that the Core and Lite scales interact with the other iHealth products, and the Core offers a bunch of useful metrics with which to monitor your health. Setup is easy and the app's graphs give a decent visual representation of your health-metric trends as you progress.

Huawei P30 Pro Release Date, Price & Specs Rumours

Huawei's MWC press conference didn't include an announcement of the P30 range. Instead, it will hold a launch event in Paris at the end of March. We round up rumours, speculation and more on the new Huawei line-up, including the expected P30 release date, price and specifications.

Huawei Mate 20 X Review

The Huawei Mate 20 X is an obscenely large smartphone but it has many of the features of the Mate 20 Pro for less. Here’s our full review of the huge premium slab
Should I Buy The Huawei Mate 20 X?
With a bigger screen, bigger battery and smaller notch than the Mate 20 Pro, the Huawei Mate 20 X also has the same camera set up and adds a headphone jack. If you want the most screen possible, it might be for you. 
You lose the curved display, wireless charging, full water resistance and secure Face ID but for many that won’t matter if a huge display, outstanding camera and great performance are top of your list. If you want a normal size phone, get the Mate 20 Pro.

Samsung Galaxy S9 vs Samsung Galaxy S10e

Samsung's Galaxy S range has been updated and here we compare the S10e - the new 'lite' model - to last years' Galaxy S9 to help you decide which phone is best for you.
Should I Buy The Samsung Galaxy S10e Or Samsung Galaxy S9?
The S10e could be the sleeper hit of this year. It doesn’t have the embedded fingerprint sensor of the S10 and S10 Plus or their triple cameras, but it comes with the same processors, new screen design, ultra-wide camera, and all in a compact and comfortable format with a smaller price-tag.
That being said, the S9 is still an excellent device, and its new, lower price makes it a definite bargain.

Like Fan Page